DV Video Camera

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Can someone recommend a good digital video camera for under $700. I really dont care much about speical effects and stuff (thats what imoive is for) just a basic camera with some desent quality. I was looking at the canon ZR20 or something like that. Anyone have any experence with it? TIA.


  • Reply 1 of 6
    neomacneomac Posts: 145member
    All the reviews about the ZR-series indicates that they are a poor choice for consumer DV. They have a problem with shooting in-doors. They don't handle low-light situations well.

    Sony's Digital-8 series DV camcorders cost from $500 and up. I used a friends DCR-TRV330 recently and I really liked it. The image was nice. It costs $800, but it has a "little brother" model that costs $500 - frankly, I can't see a spec difference between the two, just some unnecessary features.

  • Reply 2 of 6
    I got my Sony Digital8 DCR-TVR230 for about $550 (MSRP was $700) and it has worked wonders for me. I specifically needed the Digital8 kind because I have tons of Hi8 tapes sitting around here. Plus, I can't tell any quality difference between MiniDV and Digital8. Maybe the "trained eye" could, but the difference is probably negligible if you aren't aiming for professional-grade footage. Also, I didn't need nor want the "features" of the slightly more expensive ones. Such features include:

    Digital Photos

    You'd be much better off spending the extra couple hundred dollars on a cheap still digital camera that probably has a higher resolution anyway.

    MPEG Movies

    On a memory stick?? Bah! Who needs a stinkin' memory stick for a short MPEG movie when you've got FireWire?

    Bigger Viewfinder

    You want to pay how much for an extra inch?

    Digital Fades/Wipes/Effects

    You don't need these if you've got iMovie or Final Cut Pro.

    Customizable Text Overlays

    Oh, come on. See previous topic.

    Digital Zooms

    Don't be fooled by these numbers! Always go for the camera with the higher optical zoom. Optical zoom actually adjusts the lense whereas digital zoom simply inflates the existing pixels. Curiously, Sony's more expensive models have lower optical zooms...

    Well, I just checked <a href="http://www.sonystyle.com/digitalimaging/F_D8.shtml"; target="_blank">Sony's Digital8 page</a>, and the newer version of the camera I have is now the DCR-TRV240 and it retails for $599.99. This one will probably suit you pretty well. I know I like mine.

    edit: By the way, the infared night-vision thingie is as cool as it sounds.

    [ 02-04-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 6
    It's really important that the camera got an DV in and out port.

    I also think that the sony cameras are best
  • Reply 4 of 6
    i don't know but here are some starting points:

    <a href="http://desktopvideo.about.com/cs/dvcamcorders/"; target="_blank">http://desktopvideo.about.com/cs/dvcamcorders/</a>;

    <a href="http://www.dvformat.com/2001/08_aug/features/dldveditupdated.htm"; target="_blank">http://www.dvformat.com/2001/08_aug/features/dldveditupdated.htm</a>;


    check out consumer reports or just do a search with search terms like "dv camera shootout" "digital video camera review"
  • Reply 5 of 6
    nice review and price check place:

    <a href="http://www.camcorderinfo.com/"; target="_blank">http://www.camcorderinfo.com/</a>;

    and here

    <a href="http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/cameraList.php"; target="_blank">http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/cameraList.php</a>;

    they do nice reviews, like this one:

    <a href="http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/sony/trv17-review/index.shtml"; target="_blank">http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/sony/trv17-review/index.shtml</a>;

    i have this camera and like it alot...still photos are poor, but usable...i used it for my iMac photos (just makes me want a still digital camera even more really...always more toys to buy)...this camera is small and easy to use...the canon is nice, but check them out yourself...they have a lot of plastic on them and i was worried that the kids would kill it...at best buy the plastic port on the bottom was already trashed when i looked at it...but then best buy shoppers can be tough on products...the sony felt more solid and is a bit bigger and heavier...

    you can get the sony for around 800 if you shop around on line....then you add a bag and tapes and such....g

    here is the canon review:

    <a href="http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/canon/zr25-review/index.shtml"; target="_blank">http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/canon/zr25-review/index.shtml</a>;

    can get for less than 600....

    [ 02-04-2002: Message edited by: thegelding ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 6
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    A couple of points to bring up.

    I'm alot like you. I don't want too many unecessary bells and whistles.

    Low Light(LUX) ratings are generally useless. Some cameras appear to do a better job than others but let's be honest ALL cameras prefer better light. If you're shooting in low light situations you're not taking advantage of full resolution. Cameras aren't much different from your eyes...walk into a dimly lit room and see how well your eyes do on colors...not too hot.

    Digital Zoom- extreme numbers only make you video look pixelated. Why consumers fall for this is beyond me.

    Digital8 vs Minidv- Since I have no Hi8 tapes to transfer my recommendation is to go MiniDV. Hi8 is cheaper in some cases but it's an already obsolete format for anyone who doesn't need 8mm backwards compatability. Reliability could be poorer as the heads spin faster than MiniDV.

    I'm looking at Canon myself because they work well with iMovie and FCP but I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a Sony MiniDV either.
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